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John Ford’s Classic ‘Stagecoach’ Out on Criterion May 25

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Posted on May 19 2010 11:00 am
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When we think of the foundation of the western genre, two names come to mind, John Ford and John Wayne. Before Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone we had Ford and Wayne. Without them the western might not have been the same. Ford’s 1939 classic “Stagecoach” is coming to Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray on May 25th.

Before we were told to “print the legend,” Ford and Wayne began their long collaborative careers with a small film about what was meant to be a simple trip for a stagecoach. It turned into an interesting journey with a wonderful cast of characters that sparked the bright future for both Ford and Wayne. It is near impossible to picture the genre without them from 1939 through the early 1960’s. Not only did this film spark two major players in the genre, it was also Ford’s first film of many to be shot at Monument Valley (which would become a standard for the western).

It has been quite some time since I’ve seen “Stagecoach”; it appears that as usual, a Criterion purchase will be rewarded with lucrative bonus features. Among the extras are an audio commentary by author Jim Kitses who wrote the influential book Horizons West and edited The Western Reader, two must reads for any die hard western fan!

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